Innovative free dance and craft workshops for children with neurological conditions have opened to youngsters anywhere in Merseyside for the first time.
The Brain Changer Arts Project – launched last year by The Brain Charity thanks to funding from BBC Children in Need – harnesses the power of the arts to help some of the more than 500,000 young people across the UK with neurological conditions or brain injuries.
The fun weekly sessions, which are currently running as online video classes, provide physiotherapy through dance and occupational therapy through art and craft and are open to children of any age.
Previously, the workshops have only been available to specific school groups in Liverpool, but now, thanks to safe, private video technology, The Brain Charity has opened the project up to young people from anywhere in Merseyside and across the UK.
All activities are specifically designed to stimulate multiple parts of the brain and improve cognitive function – dancing boosts motor control and balance, reduces stress and increases serotonin levels while crafting assists with dexterity, hand-eye coordination and memory – as well as offering a chance for children and their parents or carers to make new friends.
Already, organisers have noticed life-changing benefits for the young people taking part – in the project’s first year, more than a third of participants found their mobility improved and confidence levels shot up among more than half of attendees.
Nanette Mellor, CEO of The Brain Charity, a national charity based in Liverpool city centre, said:
Access to physiotherapy for our young people is so limited these days, and we are sure these workshops will improve their wellbeing and set them up for as healthy and active a life as possible.
The first hour-long public taster session, providing physiotherapy through creative dance with help from a professional physiotherapist and dance instructor, will take place next Saturday morning (July 25h) at 11am.
For more information or to sign up, fill in the form on this page https://bit.ly/thebrainchanger.